Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Aussie Specialist

Finally one of the most valuable certification I have, is now in physical certificate form!



The framed certificate arrived today to my office in the mail, and after more than a year of me passing the course.. an annual recertification is required to keep the status active..

In the Aussie Specialist Program, there are 23 modules to sit for and attain a minimum of 90% pass to graduate.. each module is a pre-requisite before moving on to the next one..

Destination

  • Module 1 About Australia
  • Module 2 ACT & Canberra
  • Module 3 New South Wales
  • Module 4 Northern Territory
  • Module 5 Queensland
  • Module 6 South Australia
  • Module 7 Tasmania
  • Module 8 Victoria
  • Module 9 Western Australia
Niche
  • Module 10 Australia's Big Cities
  • Module 11 Aboriginal Australia
  • Module 12 Nature in Australia
  • Module 13 Australia's Outback
  • Module 14 Aussie Coastal Lifestyle
  • Module 15 Australian Journeys
  • Module 16 - reading -
  • Module 17 Meetings & Incentives
  • Module 18 Accommodations
  • Module 19 - Itinerary Planning (assignment) -
  • Module 20 Group Tour Planning
  • Module 21 Group Tour Managing
  • Module 22 Experimental Luxury - Aussie Lifestyle
  • Module 23 Restaurant Australia
In each module, there are examinable questions from as little as 7 questions to as many as 30 questions.. 

At the end of the course, I have to submit my assignment which the questions (I was told) can be random.. you are given a scenario and work out the itinerary planning for the question, by applying all that is learnt in the course.. 

After that, one is deemed to have passed and is certified Specialist.. As a specialist, I attend each of Tourism Australia's events be it by the national tourism board or the respective state tourism branch.. 

And that is how this came in the mail :) 


So who's up for Australia? 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

July 2015 petrol price

In midst of all the uncertainties, scandals, deceits and what nots, we're surprised by yet another to hit us right in the face.

Petrol price.

The new pump price will be:
RON95: up 10sen to RM2.15
RON97: up 20sen to RM2.55
Diesel: no change. 

Thank you this Najib government for screwing us upside down inside out one after another. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Now every gay couple can marry

The United States Supreme Court today declared same-sex marriage legal in ALL 50 states across the nation.. It became the 21st country to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide..

#LOVEWINS

Because being in love has no wrong or right..

I would like to legally married and settle down one day, but knowing in Malaysia, it will never, ever happen..

What is your life goals? Do you want to get married as well?




Thursday, 25 June 2015

Malaysia Airlines trims more Australian flights

The following routes will be trimmed from Malaysia Airlines' flight fequency: 

Melbourne: Effective 2 August - MH146/MH147
Sydney: Effective 3 August - MH142/MH143
Adelaide: Effective 9 August - MH136/MH139 
Perth: Effective 15 August - MH126/MH127


I was on MH146 on my return from Melbourne last September, the downside is to sleep in the airport the night before with McDonalds as the flight is 8am and need to check in and go through all at 6am.. plus some duty-free shopping time and walking through and exploring the quiet eerie airport...


Sleeping on another trolley










 


That's all the news about Australian routes, hopefully they don't cut anymore..

Next... ASIA!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Malaysia Airlines Terminates Brisbane & Maldives

In the next stage of route rationalisation, Malaysia Airlines today announced the termination of Kuala Lumpur - Brisbane vv and Kuala Lumpur - Maldives (Male) vv.

The Brissy route will be dropped effective 9 August 2015 and Maldives will be dropped effective 23 August 2015.

Alternative flights you can take to Maldives:
- Sri Lankan (long transit in Colombo)
- Singapore Airlines (night arrival, morning departure)
- Tigerair (morning depart from Singapore, noon depart from Male arriving in Singapore at night)

Alternative flights to Brisbane/Gold Coast:
- AirAsia X (to Gold Coast)
- Singapore Airlines
- Qantas (from Singapore)
- Jetstar/Tiger/Scoot


I flew on Malaysia Airlines to Brisbane last September and notably the 8-hours flight was awesome.. Certainly sad to see it go..

Flashback my KUL-BNE flight






Tuesday, 23 June 2015

When you inspire, magic happens

I wasn't born to lead.. I wasn't born to motivate.. In fact, I was timid and would always take a back seat when calls for volunteers to be a leader of something or some group.. I didn't (and still don't) like the limelight much..

Yet, times and again, it was entrusted onto me to be someone exemplary..

LEADERSHIP

Starting from Standard Three, for every year through primary school and secondary school - I was a school prefect.. For 9 years every school day I have to wear the prefects tie.. But I took it all with pride *chuckle* and did my duties diligently well.. 

In Form 1 and Form 2, I was made the head prefect for the afternoon school session during the first week of school in a new school that was just opened.. I guessed words and recommendations must have flowed with me from my primary school to secondary school..  

For every year they nominated me was for every year I declined but my rejection was never taken seriously.. I have forgotten what was it like to be a "normal" student, to play truant, to misbehave, to rebel, to be a little sloppy in my dressing.. Nevertheless, I carried out my duties remarkably well and it was well noted in the testimonials.. Something which proved really valuable.. 

My rejection was only accepted when I was in Form Six as my reason to the school was that enough was enough and I wanted to be a "normal" student again.. That was the first time I didn't have to wear a prefect tie.. Damned I should've used that excuse back then!

I owed my upbringing to of course my parents but being a prefect all through my school years meant I had to be an example to others - to lead and to be a model student.. 

Sure - we all have that common hatred for prefects, I know.. but I was fine, I didn't yell, I didn't shout and I wasn't mocked.. I only advised and let them go.. When it came to doing spotchecks, I opted to be the good guy most of the time, stood watch or recoding the confiscated items.. Rarely was I the one doing the ransacking.. The most I had to endure was flat bicycle tyres, others had it worst.. 

I knew I wasn't hated that much LOL.. I must have gotten myself in the good books of the naughty boys and girls.. 

HARDSHIP TAUGHT ME TO BE TOUGH

You see -- I didn't even finish my university, but for the last 15 years, I have endured long working hours, some years in Singapore in harsh front-line retail - worked 7 days a week 12-15 hours a day for a few months just to save SGD4K to go to school, been subject of ridicule (by female bosses) and (nationality) discrimination.. I stood firm and persevered.. Some people saw me as tough, some saw me as stubborn, but I knew what I was doing..

And along the way, people somehow looked up to me as someone who didn't give up.. 

Hey I turned out fine.. 

FINDING MONEY

People inspired me to work hard for myself.. Four years ago, I pooled some money together and started Rainbow Designs.. I pulled two jobs - a full time day job and after dinner and gym, it was down to working on projects.. I had to meet clients in the evenings, buying them drinks, burning midnight and weekend oil.. Over the years, I let pass many of the projects after the contract with Hong Leong Bank ended, I didn't pursue on renewing the contract with them, because I felt it wasn't worth my time and money to work like dog and paid peanuts.. I was on the losing hand of not being able to negotiate the terms, I signed because I needed them, but proving that the business can still survive without them, I walked away from the five-digit contract.. I told myself I can never get that kind of money with others but it's okay, I didn't have to slave.. 

At least I know how hard money is earned.. 

INSPIRING OTHERS

21 years ago, when I wanted to learn swimming, my parents sent me to the best coaches.. the Perak state coaches.. Perak used to produce some of the Olympians swimmers, I had a brief mentoring by one of the Olympians.. He, his younger sister and I are still in contact and we've remained friends over these years.. 

I went to swim, to dive on the springboard and platform, took life-saving, CPR and then learnt how to teach and coach others.. I was barely 12 years old then.. But I was given a small group to lead and helped kept an eye on.. That showed that while I wasn't the favourite boy in the team, my coaches believed in me and inspired me to take lead.. 

I didn't opt for competitive swimming because I was mature and old enough to decide that I didn't want to take something I came to love into something I have to fight to survive.. Things would be very different for me had I taken up competitive swimming.. Don't get me wrong, I am still very inspired by the swimmers of today who went all out and win medals for their country despite all odds..

In secondary school, being a new school as it was, I founded the swimming club and was automatically made the club president by default.. It wasn't something I chose to be, but because I fought to establish the club and going through all the paperwork and insurance coverage with the school teachers who agreed to be the club advisors taught me many things.. 

I wanted to be someone others can emulate and be an example, I started coaching.. Some didn't make it through, some did eventually go on to swim on their own and surpassed even myself.. I have taught in pools of all shapes and sizes and water conditions, under the sun and under the moon.. With each student, I learnt how to be better as they have entrusted me with their lives in the water.. 

The one I'm currently coaching exceeds the goals I set out lesson after lesson.. He went farther and faster.. With an underlying medical condition he has no other choice other than to get into the water.. I got some advice from other more experienced coaches on how to coach and what to look out for.. Sometimes it comes down to how badly one wants to learn.. 

Over the years, I taught group exercise and gym classes because I love being in the gym and working out to maintain my physique.. I am not looking to bulk or build a body like Schwarzenegger, all I wanted is just to sweat some and lift some weights.. I took up BODYCOMBAT (2010), CXWORX (2012) and BODYBALANCE (2014)  which gave me an all rounder kind of workout - from high intensity cardio to intense core to strength and flexibility.. But teaching was not my main aim here.. I just want to have fun.. But I knew somewhere, out there, I have inspired one or few to go further.. 



When you are sincere in your actions, it speaks for itself.. 

Magic happens when you inspire others, be an inspiration to others.. 









Monday, 22 June 2015

Opposites..

1. Black or White
Mostly white.. I actually dislike black much.. 

2. Mountain or Sea
Sea.. unless it's a ski resort or the Swiss Alps.. I am in awe for the Swiss Alps!

Part of the Swiss Alps - Interlaken, Switzerland

3. City or Ancient Ruins
City.. I am not a fan of "depressed" "ruined" ruins.. I spend no more than 5 minutes at a so-awarded UNESCO heritage site, only going for the sake of seeing it and I'll loose interests faster than I can blink, more like "oh okay, let's move on".. 

On the other hand, I can spend days and days in a city! 

4. Train or Car
It depends, if KL - no brownies for guessing I rather drive, pay the tolls, pay the parking and what nots, because train is so inconvenient and most of the time it involves, yes, some kind of toll or even parking to take the train - might as well drive.. 

Years to come, there will be a major train interchange (MRT & LRT) just outside my place but before it's operational, I have no comments.. The MRT will begin by Dec 2016 and the LRT extension from Kelana Jaya LRT station will interchange with MRT Bandar Utama station a few more years after that.. 

5. Flight or Train
Again, it depends.. I would have taken the train if I have lots of time and want to see the countryside and slowly smell the roses.. Almost booked a train ticket from Sydney-Melbourne last time, but time was a big factor hence eventually I did not..

6. Clubs or Bars
Definitely bars.. I am really over the age of clubbing already, unless of course it's a first time visit to a city hence I will want to look-see look-see the local clubbing scene.. The last time I stepped into Marketplace was some years already.. don't quite see the need/purpose of it..

7. Food or Gym
Hmm.. how can one pit these two together? I eat when I want to eat but I gym when I have nothing else to do.. okay, I swim on a weekly basis (or a couple days a week).. So to choose one of both, I guess I'll choose to gym first, then eat.. After all, I am not so much a "foodie" per se, I rather go for convenience - the same usual stuffs I usually eat week in week out..

8.  International or Domestic Travel
International of course, must fully utilise the passport, otherwise it is wasted.. My 5 year plan is to maximise the pages with stamps of countries I've not been before.. with about 2 more years left on my current passport, I doubt I can even fill half of it.. Thank goodness renewal for passport is now RM200 instead of previously RM300..


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